The last Chief Minister of united Andhra Pradesh Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy rejoined the Congress on Friday in the presence of AICC chief Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi.
Gandhi returned to his residence after a meeting with party senior leaders at the AICC office. By that time Kiran Kumar Reddy, former union minister Pallam Raju, Andhra Pradesh Congress party affairs in-charge Oomen Chandy and APCC chief N Raghuveera Reddy were already at Gandhi's residence. Gandhi then invited Kiran Kumar Reddy into the party by offering him the party shawl.
There were reports over the last several days that Reddy, who had stayed away from direct politics after the division of the state, would join the Congress again. Several Congress leaders had met Reddy and supported his move. Reddy finally joined the party today heeding to the pleas of various Congress leaders, and putting an end to the speculation. Congress party sources, however, stated that Reddy's rejoining the party today was not official. He is reportedly aspiring to rejoin the party in the presence of Rahul Gandhi at a huge meeting to be organised in Andhra Pradesh.
Reddy's wooing by its leaders is part of the efforts of the Congress, which was washed out in Andhra Pradesh in the 2014 elections, to regain its base in the state. The party senior leaders met him several times to get him to rejoin, and believe that he would be a useful weapon in the arsenal needed to corner Jagan. It is learnt that the Congress is aiming to regain at least 15% of the vote bank in the coming elections.